Israel: refugees from northern Gaza town can return

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli military told Palestinians who had fled fighting in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya they could return on Saturday, signaling its offensive in the area was winding down.

"The residents are advised to beware of explosive devices Hamas has spread across the area," the military said in a statement summarizing what it said had been all-clear messages relayed to Beit Lahiya's 70,000 residents.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Giles Elgood)